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Eric Robinson was a member of the first cohort to graduate from the Lake Dallas High School Fire Academy in May 2018 and has recently been hired by the Lake Cities Fire Department. The Fire Academy is a two year dual credit college program designed to provide Lake Dallas high school students with a pathway to earning Basic Fire Fighter and Emergency Medical Technician certifications in the 11th and 12th grade. The Academy was a created in 2016 by Lake Dallas ISD, Lake Cities Fire Department and North Central Texas College.
Robinson has been a long time resident of Hickory Creek, and a passionate member of the Lake Cities Community. Eric originally planned on enrolling in the culinary program through LaGrone ATC, but upon the announcement of the fire academy, knew that this was the place for him. He proclaimed that if it weren't for this program, he would never have had the chance to fall in love with this profession.
When reflecting on the process, Robinson speaks highly of the instructors, and the level of education he obtained. He graduated the program with 8 fellow students, and expressed how thankful he was for the opportunities this academy provided. Eric says he was so lucky "things fell into place for him," as the academy opening right as he began his junior year allowed him to participate.
Robinson shared that throughout the program, he was not sure which department he would pursue for a career, but with the changes to the Lake Cities Fire Department hiring requirements, and his ties to the area, he knew this was the department for him. Eric is an Eagle Scout, who had been around the department learning its ins and out since he was a young boy. He says," I just wanted to give back to the community. These guys (the other people in this department) have been there for me since I was young, and are so underappreciated. " When talking about what he learned about the fire profession that he did not previously know, Robinson laughs and states," I had no idea how heavy everything is. The uniform itself is about 50 pounds and I was not expecting that." He advises future recruits to be realistic about this process, "it is difficult, but the tools and skills I learned could take me to any fire department and feel confident to serve the community."
"There is for sure a challenge and a higher standard that the academy students are held to in comparison to other high school students." stated Acting Fire Chief Michael Ross "It has been impressive to see those young recruits rise to the occasion. At the end of the day, the fire can't tell if the person fighting it is 18 or 30." For Eric specifically, Chief Ross saw someone who truly cared about the community and someone that possessed the traits needed to be a good firefighter, "honesty, integrity, and heart."
Eric is thrilled to be a part of the Lake Cities Fire Department, and looks forward to finishing his paramedic school this May.
To learn more about the Lake Dallas ISD Fire Academy, contact Lake Dallas High School at 940-498-4031.